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Pacific Islands CSC News



PI CSC Graduate Student Co-Authors Study on "The Projected Timing of Climate Departure from Recent Variability"


10/21/2013

A recent publication titled "The Projected Timing of Climate Departure from Recent Variability" discusses the future date when the Earth will warm to a point that surpasses natural variability. Ryan Longman, a graduate student supported by the PI CSC, was an author on the publication.

Publication Abstract: Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues. Here we present a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given location moves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (618 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (614 years s.d.) under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.

To read the publication, please visit: 
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v502/n7470/pdf/nature12540.pdf